ThinkGeek’s 8-Bitty Gamepad Promises Fun Times And Blistered Thumbs

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The folks at ThinkGeek, bless their souls, have a knack for taking off-the-wall ideas and turning them into real products. After their tablet-friendly arcade cabinet made the leap from joke to reality last year, ThinkGeek has turned their attention to whipping up a retro gaming accessory for the on-the-go crowd, and the resulting 8-Bitty already looks like a winner.

Oh, and did I mention that it has fake wood-grain trim? Be still my heart!

In fairness, the 8-Bitty (which I’m really enjoying saying, by the way) doesn’t actually exist yet. In typical ThinkGeek fashion, they’ve put the $25 NES-esque Bluetooth controller on their website along with promises that it will eventually ship to the mobile gaming masses. When it does though, it’ll link up to your iOS or Android device of choice so you can relive those halcyon days of old-school gaming.

The forthcoming 8-Bitty is compatible with all of the iCade games currently floating around in the iOS and Android app stores. That list of games is growing at a steady clip, but sadly the gaming input standard hasn’t gotten much love from bigger publishers so far, and that’s a real shame.

Let’s face it — while there are scores of games that are a joy to play on a touchscreen, some gaming experiences require a level of precision you just can’t squeeze out of a capacitive display. Here’s hoping that big names like Capcom and Square-Enix someday bake iCade support into their retro game rehashes, so we can play the games of our youths the way they were meant to be played, regardless of where we do it.